Discussion: Oxford Dictionary's Word Of The Year Is 'Post-Truth'

I wish it was ‘Post-Trump’…

1 Like

America is gettin’ hygge with post-truth alt-right Brexiteerism.

Brave New World.

Was “truthiness” (a la Colbert) The Word just a few years ago? Though perhaps that wasn’t the Oxford venue.

1 Like

Stunning perspective on the events that presaged the rise of the Post-Truth Era we are living in.

Some excerpts:

  • Responsibility for the "post-truth" era lies with the middle-class professionals who prepared the runway for its recent take-off. Those responsible include academics, journalists, "creatives," and financial traders; even the centre-left politicians who have now been hit hard by the rise of the anti-factual.
  • More than 30 years ago, academics started to discredit "truth" as one of the "grand narratives" which clever people could no longer bring themselves to believe in. Instead of "the truth," which was to be rejected as naïve and/or repressive, a new intellectual orthodoxy permitted only "truths"—always plural, frequently personalised, inevitably relativised.
  • By the mid-1990s, journalists were following academics in rejecting "objectivity" as nothing more than a professional ritual.
  • In the second half of the 1990s, branding comprised the core business of the newly categorised "creative industries." Bright young things generated fast-growing revenues by creating a magical system of mythical thinking known in shorthand as "the brand."
  • By the turn of the century, government was already less about the "truth" than about how "truths" could be spun. So-called "spin doctors" took centre stage; it was government by PR—and the Iraq War was a prime example. Facts, apparently, took a back seat.
  • As the protagonists neared the role of a priest or pop star in their near-mythical performances, so the Clinton-Blair-Obama triad has moved politics further away from truth and closer to the realm of the imagination. Meanwhile, in the hands of managerialists what was left of the truth—"the evidence base"—was soon recognised by the wider population as a tool for use in social engineering, and largely discredited as a result—hence the mounting hostility towards experts...

    Such as Hillary Clinton.

    So much of this article has a ring of… ahem, truth to it. From recalling the denunciation of stereotyping by 1960’s hippies, who now lead in the development of stereotypes — see: Baby Boom, Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials — to the certainty of the 80’s that “perception is reality,” we have indeed built a culture, an industry, and now with Trump and the conservative movement, a government unmoored from facts and reality.